March Madness

Posted: March 14, 2012 by Kodi in BBall, NCAA

March Madness Bracketology is taking over America!

See how crazy the NCAA Tournament makes people including the POTUS!

Everyone wants to be in a Bracket Pool is doesn’t matter if you’re 11. . . 

We have officially began March Madness and the entire country is anxiously waiting for buzzer beaters, overtime battles and glass slippers but they’re also excited to fill out their brackets. There are those of us who follow college basketball closely all season long and then there are others who select games based upon jersey color, mascot, notoriety, attractive players, or just overall cuteness. It is estimated that one in five Americans will fill out a bracket and join a pool, there are even more who do it just for fun. I don’t know about you but bragging rights aren’t enough to persuade me into really truly caring about a redundant basketball game, but winning someone else’s money and being able to talk shit is definitely worth it.

Although the NCAA is attempting to persuade the general public into believing that the 4 opening games are the “first round” of the tournament nobodies buying it and picking those games is still obsolete. I don’t know what is worse the so-called first round or the ridiculous conference tournaments that even John Calipari admitted were a joke. I am a little surprised that the Pac-12 regular season champ didn’t make it to the field of 68 and because Colorado won a superseded tournament so they are the team putting on their dancing shoes. Don’t worry though because Washington would get an invitation to another tournament like the NIT often referred to as the NOT IN TOURNAMENT! People talk shit about the NIT until the team they root for is in it and get excited about playing in the Garden. Still some of college basketball’s postseason is an absolute joke but the Madness that surrounds March is astonishing.

There are many people who look forward to March Madness but there are also a lot of people who don’t understand and would love nothing more than to rain on our parade. I call it our parade because I have been a sports fanatic for life. I have been watching March Madness intensely since middle school, skipping high school with my buddies to “hang out” in a basement and watch basketball for 10 hours. Luckily I am attending a University whose Spring Break coincides with the Tournament every year I’ve been here, all 7 years. I can imagine that in the future when I finally get that “real job” my mom’s been looking forward to that I will be either using my vacation days just to watch or catching something at the wrong time forcing me to call in sick.

March Madness is no joke and I am a class 5 tournament junkie, there is no hope for me and there are numerous Americans who would fall into the same category. There are people as I said who don’t understand and those are the folks who are more interested to see how the NCAA basketball tournament is negatively affecting business. During the three week tournament there will be over $1 billion in wages paid to workers involved in over $2.5 billion in illegal office pools and betting circles. There was a survey done two years ago that showed 81% of employees spent some time at work following the March Madness games. Last year that number jumped to 86% and many speculate that the number will rise even more this season due to internet streaming, smart phone apps, more access to television, etc. I found it interesting that the survey results found that only 6% of employees take time off to watch March Madness and maybe my wife was right about my addiction.

There’s another completely different problem with March Madness and those office pools happening in nearly every business across the country. Basically every person that is part of a office pool is participating in illegal gambling activity, well not really but almost. The main difference between a legal and illegal office pool is whether or not someone from outside the office participates in games with a monetary value. So that made me wonder if all the mom’s who call their sons for Bracket advice are making these pools illegal. These old ladies aren’t picking their own games or winners, couldn’t that constitute bringing in someone from outside the office? Good thing I care about my readers because I found a loophole. If you donate at least 1% of the proceeds towards a charitable cause then it wouldn’t matter.

I can remember sitting in the lunch room filling out my brackets in pen scratching out teams once, twice sometimes three to ten times as I wavered on who I thought would win the game. I would sneak some cash out of my mom’s wallet and hope that I would score big. As I said before there is a select few of us who are hooked and 11 year old Max Kohll is well on his way to ditching school and skipping work to watch March Madness. Kohll is a fifth grader at an Columbian Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska and he thought that it was time he started a pool with his friends. It was a $5 entry and Kohll told all his friends about the bracket hoping to cash in big. Max politely asked his mother for the entry fee so he already has better morals than me but his mom was smart. To pay off the loan Max would have to pick up his dog Riley’s poop.

Well Max got into deeper shit than the winter collection Riley left for him in his back yard. Principal Kathy Nelson caught wind of Max’s business endeavor and called him into her office. It wasn’t long before she found Max’s stash of $10 and multiple unfilled brackets, this was the biggest bust in the elementary school’s history. Principal Nelson did what any school authority figure would do, she called Max’s mother and the woman admitted to knowing about his activity. Kohll is going to get three hundred lashings with a wet noodle and really the biggest story was that this cocky 5th grader might just be on to something picking Florida St., Baylor, Michigan St., and North Carolina in the Final Four with the Tar Heels winning it all.

Max is just an ordinary gambling addict in an 11 year olds body and many aren’t surprised to see just who follows sporting events closely in America. There have been many Presidents of the United States who occasionally toss out the first pitch, sit in the skybox of a football game or sit courtside at a college or NBA game. Barack Obama is no stranger to sporting events appearing at all of the above mentioned events since being elected President. He has filled out brackets for March Madness every year he has been in office and even pissed off Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski when he picked North Carolina to win it all. Well it seems that President Obama is a Tar Heels fans because he is picking them to win it all again this year. Everyone knows that Barack is an avid basketball fan and he often plays hoops with staffers at the White House but as much as I approve of Barry filling out a bracket like anyone else, some believe that the President has better things to do. I’m glad he doesn’t care and when you go to www.WhiteHouse.gov you are greeted by this little gem. . .

March Madness haters just don’t understand.

They could just be gambling addicts in remission from their inability to stop impulsively spending money at the casino, in their office, or in the basement of a Vietnamese restaurant. Anyone who has spent time playing in a cash poker game with their friends, been on a hot or cold streak at a casino, or put some money down on a game knows the rush that occurs when money is on the line. That rush takes over and it can affect people like a drug and just like with drug’s some people don’t know when to say no. Instead of spending their life savings on crack or heroin they bet their kid’s college fund away at the horse track or blew it all at the roulette wheel. Sometimes people take a good thing a little too far and their bad decisions are placed upon those who are able to control themselves. Some people believe that March Madness could be a trigger and for those who are unable to make the proper decisions this is a difficult time of the year. Gambling addiction is no joke and just like alcoholism or drug addiction it needs to be taken very seriously. The United Community and Family Services launched a campaign to raise awareness about the negative aspects of gambling and their slogan is “When you bet, you could lose more than a game!”

Yeah, like the respect of all your male friends and co-workers when your girlfriend/wife/secretary does better in the March Madness pool than yourself.

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